Tomato: An Edible Plant Suitable for Growing at Home
Tomato (Scientific name: Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), is an annual or perennial herb of tomato genus of Solanaceae, 0.6 to 2 meters in height, all mucinous glandular hair, strong smell, easy to lay down stems, pinnately compound leaves, or pinnately deep cleft, inflorescence pedicels 2-5 cm long, often 3-7 flowers, calyx radiate, corolla radiate. Berry oblate globose or subglobose, fleshy and juicy, seeds yellow, flowers in summer and autumn.
Tomatoes are native to South America. The fruit is rich in nutrients and has a special flavor. It can be eaten raw, boiled, processed in tomato sauce, juice, or canned whole.
History of Botany
The center of tomato origin is in the Andes region of South America. In Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and other places, there are still large areas of wild species distribution.
The genus tomato is divided into colored tomato subspecies and green tomato subspecies. The former fruit has a variety of colors when ripe, while the latter fruit is green when ripe.
The genus tomato consists of the common cultivated tomato and several species closely related to the cultivated tomato, which can be roughly divided into two complex populations of common tomato and Peruvian tomato.
The common tomato group includes the common tomato, the fine leaf tomato, the Chishmani tomato, the small flower tomato, and the Chimeriuske tomato, the hairy tomato; The Peruvian tomato group includes Chilean tomatoes and Peruvian tomatoes.
The ancestor of modern tomato cultivation is the cherry tomato. Mexico’s earlier domesticated cultivation, 1523, tomatoes from Mexico to Spain, Portugal, around 1550 to Italy, 1575 have been spread to Britain and central European countries, as an ornamental plant at that time.
It was cultivated for food in the mid-18th century. The first botanical description, classification, and naming were made by Miller in 1768. It was introduced to the Philippines in the 17th century and later spread to other Asian countries.
Tomato is an annual herb, plant 0.6-2 meters high, all mucinous glandular hair, a strong smell.
The stems are prone to lodging. Leaves compound or deeply divided pinnate, 10-40 cm long, leaflets irregular, unequal in size, often 5-9, ovate or oblong, 5-7 cm long, margin irregularly serrate or lobes. Inflorescence peduncle 2-5 cm long, often 3-7 flowered; Pedicels 1-1.5 cm long; Calyx spoke, lobes lanceolate, persistent when fruit; Corolla radiate, ca. 2 cm in diam, yellow.
Berries oblate or subglobose, fleshy and juicy, orange or bright red, smooth; Seeds yellow. Flower and fruit period summer and autumn.
Tomato for Solanaceae herbaceous plants, including limited growth, semi-limited growth, and unlimited growth. It can grow for many years when conditions are suitable.
Plant height 0.7 ~ 2m. The whole plant is covered with mucinous glandular hairs. Stems are semi-erect or semi-tendril, prone to lodging, ranging from 0.7 to 1.0m in height to 1.0 to 1.3m.
The branching ability of the stem is strong, the adventitious root is easy to grow on the stem node, the stem is easy to fall, and the root is easy to take root when touching the ground, so the tomato cutting propagation is easy to survive.
Compound leaves odd-pinnate or deeply lobed, alternate; Leaves 5 ~ 40cm long; Leaflets irregular, unequal in size, often 5 ~ 9, ovate or oblong, 5 ~ 7cm long, front acuminate, margin with irregular serrate or lobes, local skew, petiole.
Flowers bisexual, yellow, self-pollinated, complex racemes. Flowers 3-9, into lateral thyme; Calyx 5-7 lobed, lobes lanceolate to linear, persistent when fruit; Corolla yellow, radiate, 5-7-lobed, ca. 2cm in diam.
Stamens 5-7, borne in a tube, filaments short, anthers semi molecular, or a cone around pistil; Ovary 2 locules at most locules, stigma capitate. Fruit is a berry, berry is flat globose or subglobose, fleshy and juicy, orange-yellow or bright red, smooth.
Seeds flat, kidney-shaped, gray-yellow, 1000-seed weight 3.0 ~ 3.3g, life span 3 ~ 4 years.
Flower, fruit period summer, autumn. The roots were well developed and had strong regeneration ability, but most of the root groups were distributed in the soil layer of 30 ~ 50cm.
Germination: From sowing to the appearance of the first true leaf. Under normal temperature conditions, this period is 7 ~ 10 days;
Seedling stage: from the first true leaf to the first inflorescence. The suitable day temperature is 25 ~ 28℃ and the night temperature is 13 ~ 17℃. Soil temperature at this stage had a great influence on seedling growth, and the proper soil temperature should be kept at 22-23 ℃. Primordia fruiting stage is from the first inflorescence to fruiting. This stage is the transition period from vegetative growth to reproductive growth and vegetative growth, which is directly related to the formation and yield of product organs.
Fruiting period: from the first inflorescence to the end of harvesting (seedling pulling). In this period, fruit and seedling grow at the same time, and it is the key task to solve the contradiction between vegetative growth and reproductive growth.
Distribution of Growth
Tomato is a temperature-loving vegetable. Under normal conditions, the optimum temperature for assimilation is 20-25 ℃, and the optimum soil temperature for root growth is 20-22 ℃.
Increasing soil temperature can not only promote root development but also significantly increase the nitrate-nitrogen content in the soil, accelerate growth and increase yield.
Tomato is a light-loving crop with a light saturation point of 7000lx and suitable light intensity of 30,000-5000lx.
Tomato is a short-day plant, in the process of turning from vegetative growth to reproductive growth, the basic requirements of a short day, but the requirements are not strict, some varieties in the short day can advance bud blossom, most varieties in 11 ~ 13h under the sun earlier flowering, plant growth.
Tomato both need more water, but do not often do a lot of irrigation, generally, with soil humidity of 60 ~ 80%, air humidity of 45 ~ 50% is appropriate.
High humidity in the air not only hinders normal pollination but also causes serious diseases under high temperatures and humidity.
Soil and Nutrition
Tomato soil conditions are not very strict, but to achieve a high yield, promote good root development, one should choose a deep soil, good drainage, rich in organic matter fertile loam.
The PH of soil should be 6 ~ 7, and the soil with too acid or too alkali should be improved. Tomatoes need to absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil during their growth.
Egerristan reports that 33kg of potassium oxide, 10kg of nitrogen, and 5kg of phosphoric acid are absorbed from the soil for every 5,000 kg of fruit produced.
The Main Value
Tomato fruit is rich in nutrients and has a special flavor. It can be eaten raw, boiled, processed into ketchup, juice, or whole fruit in jars.
According to nutritionist research determination: every person’s daily consumption of 50 grams -100 grams of fresh tomato, can meet the human body for several vitamins and minerals.
Tomato contains “lycopene”, which has the effect of inhibiting bacteria; Malic acid, citric acid, and sugars have the function of helping digestion.
Tomatoes are rich in nutrients and have a variety of functions called the magic fruit of the dish. The organic acid such as malic acid and citric acid inside the tomato, still have increased gastric juice acidity, help digest, adjust the action of gastrointestinal function.
Tomatoes contain fruit acid, can reduce cholesterol content, are very beneficial to hyperlipidemia. Tomato is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and carotene and calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and iodine, and other elements, but also contains protein, sugar, organic acid, cellulose.
Matters needing attention:
1. It should not be eaten raw, especially the women during the period of spleen and stomach deficiency and menstruation. If you just eat tomatoes as fruit to supplement vitamin C or eat them raw in summer to clear the heat, it is better to eat them raw.
2. Do not eat on an empty stomach, empty stomach acid secretion increases, because some chemical substances contained in tomatoes combined with gastric acid are easy to form insoluble in water block, food often causes abdominal pain, causing stomach discomfort, stomach distension pain.
3. Unripe green tomatoes should not be eaten because they contain toxic solanine. Edible unripe cyan tomato, can feel astringent, ate more, serious can bring about poisoning, appear dizziness, disgusting, whole body unwell, vomit and the symptom such as systemic fatigue, serious still can produce life danger.
4. It is not suitable to be heated at high temperatures for a long time, because lycopene is easily decomposed by light, heat, and oxygen and loses its health care function. Therefore, long-time high-temperature heating should be avoided when cooking.
1. It can protect the liver, nourish the myocardium and reduce blood pressure. It contains moderate sugar (glucose and fructose), can reduce blood viscosity, protect blood vessels and prevent and treat hypertension. Often eat tomatoes to coronary heart disease and liver patients have the effect of auxiliary treatment. Contains a substance called copper chloride, which has an auxiliary therapeutic effect on liver disease.
2. It has the effect of clearing heat and detoxifying, diuresis and defecation, and helping digestion. Malic acid and citric acid can help gastric juice to undertake digestion to adipose material, ate greasy food, eat tomato not only help digest, and can prevent indigestion. Tomato also has a diuretic effect, eating tomatoes is beneficial to nephropathy. Hot days can also boil tomato slices soup when tea to drink, heat prevention effect. The fiber can increase the amount of water in the stool, but also can be converted into soft material, to the laxative effect.
3. Protect skin health, maintain the normal secretion of gastric juice, promote the formation of red blood cells, high content of vitamin C, can maintain the elasticity of the skin. Apply chopped tomatoes with a little honey to moisturize your skin and cure toadies.
4. Prevent children’s rickets, night blindness, dry eyes. Rich in vitamin A, can promote bone calcification, the formation of tooth tissue plays an important role, tooth root inflammation, dental disease, nosebleeds and patients suffering from bleeding diseases eat tomato, helpful to treatment.
The tomato was first grown in Peru and Mexico in South America. It is a wild berry that grows in forests. Because of its beautiful color, the local people regard it as a poisonous fruit, regarded as “fox fruit”, called “wolf peach”, only for ornamental, no one dares to eat, just treat it as an ornamental plant.
According to records, in the 16th century, British named Russian duke of Dara’s traveling in South America, like tomatoes this kind of ornamental plants, and unsanitary environment of general will back to the UK, in love as a gift to the lover’s queen Elizabeth to express love, from then on, “love” and “lover” in the name of a widely circulated. But people grow tomatoes in their estates and give them to their lovers as gifts of love.
Generation after generation, no one dares to eat tomatoes. In the 17th century, a French painter has painted tomatoes many times, in the face of the tomato so beautiful lovely, and “toxic” berry, can not resist its temptation, so he had the idea of tasting what it is.
He risked his life to eat one and found it sweet, sour, sour, and sweet. However, he turned out to be fine, and the news spread around the world that tomatoes are not poisonous and can be eaten.
Since then, hundreds of millions of people enjoy the comfort of the brave man who risked his life.
In the 18th century, The Italian cook made food with tomatoes, colorful, delicious, guests praise it. Tomatoes finally made it to the table.
From then on, tomatoes won the love of everyone, known as red fruit, golden apple, ruby, love fruit.